Is FBI Director James Comey’s firing like a real estate deal where no one ends up happy because both parties have been a little bit screwed?
Donald Trump would like us to think so, on the day that a grand jury sent subpoenas to associates of ousted National Security Advisor Michael Flynn in the investigation of Russia’s involvement in the U.S. election and the Trump campaign.
As outrage continues to grow, Trump tried to shift the story, and tweeted:
Once again, Trump is downplaying the issue and moving on to other bizarre eruptions of language to distract. And that usually works.
Hillary Clinton got hit with the e-mail investigation; it was poorly handled, and probably ruined her shot at the presidency. But until recently, Trump was a fan of Comey’s. Before the election, he commented:
- “Good job by the FBI!”
- “It took guts for Director Comey to make the move that he has. . . . The FBI, I give them a lot of credit.”
- “There’s a lot of people who want him to do the wrong thing. What he did was the right thing.”
The Trump team didn’t bother to lay a foundation for this firing. Supposedly Comey saw the news on a television screen while speaking to a group of FBI employees.
And members of the Senate and House on both sides of the aisle are deeply outraged, with calls for a special independent prosecutor. They’re calling the surprise move stunning, nearly unprecedented, deeply troubling and highly suspicious.
“I’ve spent the last several hours trying to find an acceptable rationale for the timing of Comey’s firing. I just can’t do it;” tweeted Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.).
Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) pointed out that Attorney General Jeff Sessions wrote one of the recommendation letters to fire Comey, in the context that the nation’s top law enforcement official had already recused himself from the Russia investigation, and then recommended firing the man leading the same investigation.
And as for the rest of us watching from the cheap seats, Trump expects us, like children, to follow the ball he has kicked downfield with his lies, obfuscations, insults and firings of law-enforcement types.
But we need to hold our positions and be steadfast. This is not a partisan issue.
He still seems to think it’s a game. But yesterday brought a serious and deliberate challenge to the balance of power.
“These are the times that try men’s souls,” Thomas Paine wrote in 1776. “The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. “